This coming April 26 marks the Maria Sharapova 2017 early professional tennis comeback. Ms. Sharapova, 29, has been away from the sport since the January 2016 Australian Open.
But now her fans can happily witness the former world No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam winner’s eagerly awaited return to tennis.
Sharapova garnered a wild card slot, beginning her homecoming back to tournament competition in the April 2017 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Maria Sharapova 2017 early professional tennis comeback on the 26th marks the day — to the day — that her 15-month International Tennis Federation suspension will be officially over.
You may recall that the Federation barred Sharapova from tennis for testing positive at last year’s Australian Open for meldonium, a cardiac medication. The drug had just been placed on the prohibited-drugs list administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Consequently, many of her sponsors either tabled her endorsements or just outright cut ties with her altogether. Porsche, for one, simply suspended Sharapova’s company ambassadorship.
But then on October 4, 2016, the Court of Arbitration for Sport reasoned that the International Tennis Federation’s original two-year suspension was too disproportionately harsh.
Thus, as final “supreme court” arbiter on all sports disputes round the world, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in Sharapova’s favor, reducing her tennis suspension to nine months.
A Porsche spokeswoman responded to the ruling in a statement published by Russian news agency TASS: “We welcome the CAS verdict and are delighted for Maria. No contracts have been terminated. We will be discussing a future collaboration over the next days and weeks.”
Fast forward to Porsche’s latest statement on the subject, trumpeting Sharapova’s return to tennis on April 26 in the Porsche Arena for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
“I could not be happier to have my first match back on tour at one of my favorite tournaments,” enthused Maria. “I can’t wait to see all my great fans and to be back doing what I love.”
Sharapova, incidentally, won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Porsche Tournament Director Markus Günthardt chimed in, “I’m really happy for Maria that she’s back after a long break. Particularly pleasing for me is that it’s going to be our audience that gets to watch her comeback live. Her return in the Porsche Arena is a fabulous present for our fantastic spectators and is certain to be one of the sporting and emotional highlights of our anniversary tournament.”
The 40th Porsche Tennis Grand Prix will run from April 22 through 30, 2017.
Tickets for the now even more highly anticipated event may be purchased in advance through Easy Ticket Service by phone at 49 711-2555 555, or online at www.easyticket.de.